By Susan Braden
Most people grow 20 baby teeth, which are eventually replaced with 32 permanent ones. However, in some cases people grow extra pearly whites, known as supernumerary teeth, and may need affordable dental care to prevent additional, adverse oral health effects. Hyperdontia is the term commonly used to refer to this condition.
Oral professionals have found that patients with extra teeth usually have a syndrome like labial palatal cleft or Gardner’s syndrome. The most common supernumerary tooth generally grows between the upper incisors and appears poorly formed, resembling a peg. This variety is known as mesiodens. Another common case involves extra molars at the back of the mouth, often in children. Disfigurations or extra pearly whites can be more prone to decay and gum disease because of their strange shape and placement. These additional pearly whites can prevent the original ones from erupting properly, and correction may require affordable dental care to avoid breaking the bank.
Orthodontic work may help, but dentists say extraction is generally the safest option for hyperdontia since the supernumeraries have little function. Supernumeraries can harm the crowns and roots of surrounding teeth, so affordable extractions must be timed well. If these are removed too late by a cheap dentist, they may cause even more damage. Supernumeraries may erupt before the permanent teeth and could inhibit their proper growth, which in turn could disrupt the alignment of the entire jawline.
If the permanent and extra teeth fuse together, an endodontist can correct the problem by surgically treating the tissues and pulp entwined in the resulting root. The fused tooth must be removed, because its abnormal structure is more prone to cavities.
Orthodontists recommend that children receive an oral evaluation or checkup by the age of 7 at the latest. In addition to hygiene assessment, this helps determine whether the child may encounter hyperdontia problems. Early identification of this condition can lead to more affordable dental care for children’s families, because it may prevent massive misalignment that can only be corrected at great expense.